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Water 2016, 8(11), 500; doi:10.3390/w8110500

Rainfall Characteristics and Regionalization in Peninsular Malaysia Based on a High Resolution Gridded Data Set

1
Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru 81310, Malaysia
2
Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Jalan Sultan Salahuddin, Kuala Lumpur 50626, Malaysia
3
School of Environment and Natural Resource Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi 43600, Malaysia
4
Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Water Security, Research Institute for Sustainable Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru 81310, Malaysia
5
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, Delft 2611 AX, The Netherlands
6
World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), UNESCO Villa La Colombella—Località di Colombella Alta, Perugia 06134, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tommaso Moramarco
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 18 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 October 2016 / Published: 2 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Hydro-Meteorological Monitoring)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1250 KB, uploaded 2 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

Daily gridded rainfall data over Peninsular Malaysia are delineated using an objective clustering algorithm, with the objective of classifying rainfall grids into groups of homogeneous regions based on the similarity of the rainfall annual cycles. It has been demonstrated that Peninsular Malaysia can be statistically delineated into eight distinct rainfall regions. This delineation is closely associated with the topographic and geographic characteristics. The variation of rainfall over the Peninsula is generally characterized by bimodal variations with two peaks, i.e., a primary peak occurring during the autumn transitional period and a secondary peak during the spring transitional period. The east coast zones, however, showed a single peak during the northeast monsoon (NEM). The influence of NEM is stronger compared to the southwest monsoon (SWM). Significantly increasing rainfall trends at 95% confidence level are not observed in all regions during the NEM, with exception of northwest zone (R1) and coastal band of west coast interior region (R3). During SWM, most areas have become drier over the last three decades. The study identifies higher variation of mean monthly rainfall over the east coast regions, but spatially, the rainfall is uniformly distributed. For the southwestern coast and west coast regions, a larger range of coefficients of variation is mostly obtained during the NEM, and to a smaller extent during the SWM. The inland region received least rainfall in February, but showed the largest spatial variation. The relationship between rainfall and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) was examined based on the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI). Although the concurrent relationships between rainfall in the different regions and ENSO are generally weak with negative correlations, the rainfall shows stronger positive correlation with preceding ENSO signals with a time lag of four to eight months. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall zonation; rainfall trends; rainfall variability; rainfall regionalization; Peninsular Malaysia rainfall zonation; rainfall trends; rainfall variability; rainfall regionalization; Peninsular Malaysia
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wong, C.L.; Liew, J.; Yusop, Z.; Ismail, T.; Venneker, R.; Uhlenbrook, S. Rainfall Characteristics and Regionalization in Peninsular Malaysia Based on a High Resolution Gridded Data Set. Water 2016, 8, 500.

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